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PHD Exam of Dr.-Ing. Markus Niermann

Dr.-Ing. Markus Niermann has successfully completed his oral PHD examination. In the morning, Dr. Niermann gave a 45-minute lecture on his work on the topic:  

"Digital Enhancement of Speech Perception in Noisy Environments"

Abstract: In many everyday situations, when people try to listen to speech from a loudspeaker, background noise affects the speech perception. Some applications in which this problem arises are mobile phones, public address systems, car entertainment systems, hearing aids, or head phones. Depending on the application, the speech may either be a recording, or, in case of communication systems, it may come live from a person speaking at the so-called far-end. The location of a listener is called the near-end. Although it is usually not possible to cancel the near-end noise source, the speech perception can be enhanced nevertheless by adaptively pre-processing the loudspeaker signal. To find out in which way the speech should be pre-processed, it is beneficial to know the near-end noise characteristics and take them into account. The knowledge can be gained from a near-end microphone that is located close to the listener. This pre-processing technique is called Near-End Listening Enhancement (NELE). In this talk, several NELE concepts and their capabilities of enhancing the speech perception are described in this talk. Afterwards, a novel computationally very efficient NELE algorithm is presented for real-time processing.

The pictures show Dr. Niermann with his two doctoral supervisors, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Vary and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Martin from the Ruhr University Bochum.